President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has approve the sack of over 100 personal aides.
Findings reveal that the move may not be unconnected to reports that a whopping N1 billion naira is spent monthly on the wage bill for aides to the four principal officers of the National Assembly.
While a sizeable number of the aides were sacked, others were redeployed.
It is still unclear if the other three principal officers, namely deputy Senate President, Speaker and deputy Speaker will toe the same line.
The action is also coming seven months after it was first reported that Saraki, had given nod to sack of about 100 staff.
Saraki explained that the sacking of about 100 out of over 200 aides working with him within the last two years was driven by the need for efficient service delivery and not targeted against inherited staff as some may believe.
Some of the sacked aides were inherited from the immediate-past Senate President, David Mark. More than half of them had no portfolios, but received monthly salaries from the National Assembly bureaucracy.
The running cost of Saraki’s office and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, including salaries of aides, it was gathered, is over N1 billion monthly. It was also gathered that Saraki decided to overhaul his cabinet to give room to his close allies and friends to come in.
Our correspondent gathered that over 90 per cent of Saraki’s aides were appointed through referrals and added that the Senate president wanted to placate some people who played roles in his emergence.
“Some of the aides are siblings of serving and former Senators and many neither have portfolios nor offices in the National Assembly,” the source said.
It was further learnt that Saraki was uncomfortable with the attitude of some of aides, who are either currently facing trial or in running battles with security agents.
The Director of Protocol, Arthur Ndiwe who has spent a total of 10 years on the position, having served Mark for 8 years before continuing with Saraki in June 2015, was among those affected.
Saraki in a clarification made by Olaniyonu at an emergency press briefing, disclosed that the sack affected both inherited and personally appointed staff.
He explained that the motive behind the exercise was nothing but efficiency in service delivery .
“The restructuring that has just taken place on the workforce in the office of the Senate President being reported as mass sack in the media, was meant to re-position the office for service delivery the outcome of which has affected three categories of staff in different ways.
“The first category are those that have been found capable and competent to continue with their job like all the entire members of the media unit.
“The second category are those earlier seconded from the National Assembly bureaucracy to serve in the office of the Senate President but now directed to go back to their civil service job like the head of Administration, Mrs Folashade Adigun.
“The third category are those whose services within the last two years were not all that satisfactory in the eye of the committee set up by the Senate President to carry out the repositioning exercise of his office,” he explained.
The affected aides 80 per cent of whom were largely believed to be inherited staff were issued sack letters through the office of the Chief of staff, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed.
There are still over 50 aides of the Senate President who were not affected.
A source said the sack came as a rude shock to his aides, as none expected it to happen anytime soon.
source: Ripple Nigeria